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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, January 9, 2019

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Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it. - Laurence J. Peter

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Grace Brown and Luke Durbridge win Australian Time Trial Championships

Mitchelton-Scott sent me this report:

Mitchelton-Scott will take the women’s and men’s Australian time trial champions' jerseys to Europe this season, thanks to impressive performances to Grace Brown and Luke Durbridge.

Australia’s only WorldTour outfit walked away from the two events with four medals in total, with a silver medal to Gracie Elvin and bronze medal to Cameron Meyer adding to the tally.

26-year-old Brown has kicked off her debut season with Mitchelton-Scott in style, and will take the green and gold jersey to Europe in the coming weeks. Brown put in a commanding performance on the 29.5km course, beating teammate Elvin by over a minute and a half for the gold medal. Kate Perry (Specialized Racing) rounded up the podium.

Durbridge claimed his third national time trial championship, following back-to-back victories in 2012 and 2013, in the most impressive of styles, beating world champion Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) by 21seconds. Making the feat even more impressive was the successful recovery having turned himself inside out for his Mitchelton-Scott teammates just two days prior in the men’s road race.

Luke Durbridge

Luke Durbridge at the 2017 Three Days of De Panne. Sirotti photo

Likewise, Meyer added a second bronze medal to his neck at this year’s championships following his performance in the road race on Sunday.

Grace Brown:
“I knew I could do a good time and I thought I had a chance of winning but I knew Lucy and Gracie are also going well so I didn’t think I had it in the bag and I certainly didn’t think I could win by that much.

“Three weeks ago I did a race-pace recon here on the course and I was going a lot faster than last year so I knew what race I had to do and what plan I needed to follow, but I ended up smashing that time also. It’s been awesome.

“It’s pretty unbelievable. It hasn’t sunk it yet that I’ve taken the jersey and will wear it around Europe. I’m happy that after the little bit of disappointment of Sunday and not taking the jersey in the road race, that I could take the jersey for the team in the time trial.”

Luke Durbridge:
“What an incredible day actually, I’m super super happy. “It’s been a long time coming, 2013 was my last victory, and to beat the world champion and the likes of Cameron Meyer on the podium, it still hasn’t really sunk in yet.

“I stuck to my plan, I haven’t done that often. I probably get a bit emotional every time I go into a time trial and just go out way too hard, but I stuck to my plan and brought it home.

“Me and my coach Ben Day have really been working hard on this and I’m just glad that it’s come together. I have to thank my family and my wife Lara for all their support, it’s been a long time of questioning a lot of things and now I have the medal to show for it. It’s been an amazing week with my brother winning the road race and me winning the time trial. Bring on the Tour Down Under.”

Australian Time Trial – Women’s Results:
1. Grace Brown (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 42:35
2. Gracie Elvin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:33.6
3. Kate Perry (Specialized Racing) +1:44.4

Australian Time Trial – Men’s Results:
1. Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 51:01
2. Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida) +0:21.1
3. Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:43.3

UAE Team Emirates will make its season debut in Australia

The team sent me this:

UAE Team Emirates is mixing tradition with fresh ingredients for its first outing of the 2019 season.

The Australian race kicks off the cycling season for the WorldTour teams, starting with the usual Down Under Classic criterium two days before on January 13.
The tour begins on January 15 and ends with something new. Instead of a flat sprinters’ stage, the Willunga Hill stage now concludes the Tour Down Under on January 20. The uphill finale will ensure suspense throughout the final metres of the 2019 event.

For UAE Team Emirates’s first 2019 race, Neil Stephens (Australia) will guide the seven-man team.
– Sven Erik Bystrøm (Norway)
– Ivo Oliveira (Portugal)
– Jasper Philipsen (Belgium)
– Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia)
– Jan Polanc (Slovenia)
– Rory Sutherland (Australia)
– Diego Ulissi (Italy)

The Australian race marks the debut in the team for Ivo Oliveira (22 years old), Jasper Philipsen and Tadej Pogacar (both 20).

Diego Ulissi has the richest palmarès of the team in the Tour Down Under with one stage win and two second places, and three times top five in the overall classification.

Diego Ulissi

Diego Ulissi winning stage four of the 2017 Tour of Turkey.

“I’m motivated to start the season again in Australia, it’s a beautiful race given the course and the high level of participants,” Ulissi said “Given the competitors, it’s a must to arrive in Australia with good training if you want to be up in the classification battle and in the tough stages. I had a good winter and I worked to be competitive in this first race.

"It will be very interesting to see how the new arrangement of stages, with the final Willunga Hill stage, will affect the race.“

New racing kits for André Greipel and Warren Barguil

Arkéa-Samsic (formerly Fortuneo Samsic) has some real horsepower in 2019, notable Warren barguil and André Greipel. The team tweeted the team's 2019 racing kit today:

Warren Barguil and Andre Greipel

The 2019 Arkea-Samsic uniform

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